DECEMBER 08, 2014

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Fall 2014 MRI Audience Figures Released; Condé Nast Reaches Over 50 Million Readers

GfK MRI's Fall 2014 study was released last week. The study found that 183.6 million American adults read magazines; 50.6 million of those adults read a Condé Nast magazine. Of the 178 print magazines measured, 44% maintained their audiences or saw an increase. Brides, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Bon Appétit are all included in that group as they all experienced double-digit increases in total audience (print + digital). Overall growth was better for digital editions, as 64% of brands saw increases in audience size. Condé Nast magazines' exclusive digital edition audience grew by 35%, besting the competition -- overall digital edition growth of 23%. Condé Nast Traveler, Brides, Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest all had triple-digital increases for their exclusive digital edition audiences.

So what?

While this release included many of the natural ups and downs we have grown accustomed to seeing in the MRI readership data, there were a number of positive stories for Condé Nast brands, especially among digital editions. 

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Mintel Outlines Trends to Watch For in 2015

Mintel outlines its Consumer Trends for 2015 in a recently released report. Mintel forecasts more growth of the Internet of Things, continued adaptation of e-commerce and the digital wallet, a focus on consumer rights and a reassessment of gender norms. As everyday life becomes more digitized, Mintel reports that 22% of American consumers have purchased a wearable device. Mintel also demonstrates how digital conveniences have changed the way we shop; automatic reorder e-commerce services are now being used by 18% of American consumers to replenish commodities such as razors and diapers and that number is expected to grow next year. Mintel also reports on changing behaviors outside of the digital realm including a global shift in perceptions of gender. Attitudes about a man’s role in the household are morphing and men are growing more concerned about their appearance. 70% of U.S. men say they feel more confident when they are well-groomed and 74% of Brazilian men say they will definitely take better care of their looks in the coming year.

So what?

A new year means forecasting dynamic consumer trends. This report delves into the nascent trends of smart homes and wearables, the future of payments, consumer rights, and the changing notions of gender and outlines why consumers might buy into each trend. How consumers think about themselves, their rights, and their devices all affect how they inform themselves (content) and think about brands and products.

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Social Media
Social Media Insights Should Be Used with Caution

A pair of computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon and McGill University recently published an article in the journal Science outlining some of the potential pitfalls of using social media data sets to report on consumer behaviors and attitudes. The authors argue that social media data sets must be weighted during analysis to account for a number of factors including:

  • Demographic skews across platforms. A platform's audiences can distort the behaviors and attitudes observed when users interact with it.
  • The level of personalization of newsfeeds can impact how users behave. Based on past interactions and engagement level, newsfeeds are unique to individual users on many of the more popular social networks as the platform's algorithms determine content users should like. That means that user data being collected is often skewed by what is being served (and available) to them.
  • Spammers and bots get counted. Social media data sets often capture user behaviors from spam accounts. These behaviors are often not being scrubbed from a final analysis and are making their way into reports.
So what?

Despite the negative perspective in the opinion outlined above, social listening tools have proven to be effective in providing real time snapshots of emerging trends and opinions, and identify influencers. Working in tandem with traditional research tactics, social insights data can be used to identify areas that warrant further study or add additional context to research that has already been conducted.

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Quick Takes
Americans Shoppers Spent Less During Thanksgiving Weekend this Year

Vinyl Sales Topped $200 Million Last Year

Source: IFPI, Statista
Americans Are Warming to Email Marketing

Source: Forrester Research,
Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 |

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights